There is no way a family can prepare for their loved one to receive a diagnosis of a condition — like autism spectrum disorder (ASD) — that interferes with daily living. When a diagnosis like this is received, parents, siblings and other family members often experience a range of emotions and may experience the stages associated with grieving — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
As caregivers and as pillars of support, parents and other family members can make an enormous difference in the life of their loved one. Having a positive impact and changing the course of a loved one’s life can be a very rewarding experience. But parents and families need to take care of themselves first to ensure everyone is at their best and able to provide the care and support their loved one needs. There are many options for assistance, and it’s important to reach out for help, as needed, to effectively navigate the ups and downs of a journey that was never expected.
Other children in the family may be especially affected and may need special help and support. They may not understand how their life — and the life of the entire family — will be very different than what they expected it to be. Brothers and sisters may feel like the special needs of their sibling are more important than their needs or feel embarrassed by things their sibling does. They may be forced to “grow up” very fast. Various support services can assist siblings work through the range of emotions they may experience.
If you have a family member who has special needs and you think you need care but you aren’t sure where to begin, call us or schedule a consultation online. We’re here to help you identify appropriate services and assist you with next steps in the process.